If You Connect It, Protect It

Taylor Karl
If You Connect It, Protect It 965 0

If you connect it, protect it. The line between our online and offline lives is indistinguishable. This network of connections creates both opportunities and challenges for individuals and organizations across the globe. Internet-connected devices have impacted our lives and empower all users to own their role in security by taking steps to reduce their risks. 

Multiple Connections Increase Risk

To truly be CyberSmart you must start thinking more deeply about risk, because that’s what all cybersecurity is meant to protect against.

It’s easy to immediately think about the web. Everything and everyone tells you about those dangers. People are lurking online trying to steal your identity, your personal information, your data, and more. There are plenty of products out there to help protect you, from firewalls to anti-malware to multi-factor authentication and more. 

But, these days your biggest risk travels with you wherever you go… 

It’s your mobile phone.  

For you as a consumer this is an open door to stealing information about you- banking passwords and account numbers, home address, phone, and more. For companies it's an entryway into their entire network that could negate all the measures they take to protect it.  

Each Connection Opens a Door to Security Endpoints 

Whether it's your mobile phone, your tablet, your laptop, even your desktop computer or game console- each device is connected at some point at the very end of a network. It’s a doorway. It needs to be locked. Double locked. When you consider any of your endpoints the first thing you need to ask yourself is “how well do I have this locked and protected?” 

A Single Connection Starts a Chain   

A firewall is an excellent device for enforcing your security policy. But a firewall is just one brick in the wall of safety. The chain starts with the user. Here are a few things to keep in mind: 

The operators immediately begin asking for feedback from the users, documenting their problems and requests thoroughly. At first stunned, the users find themselves encouraged by how concerned the IT department is in their satisfaction.

The operators immediately convey the feedback back to the development team which wastes no time coding changes, fixes, and additions. Still, they’re not looking for perfection, just better working software.

The developers once again handoff the changes in record time and the operators just as rapidly deploy the updated code. Guess what they do next!!

It’s Iterative!!!

Yes, they immediately solicit feedback from the users, documenting it carefully.

Yes, they then convey the new feedback back to the developers.

Yes, the developers immediately begin coding new changes and…

Yes, the entire cycle repeats.

Improvement

The DevOps cycle iteratively repeats and repeats and each time it does the software gets better. Better as defined by those who use the software. Who better?

In other words, the continuous development being continuously deployed creates constant improvement, and that’s what CI/CD means. Continuous improvement through continuous development and deployment. Feedback from users leads to better code, and better, and better, and better.

Instead of upgrades coming once every six months or so, companies like Amazon are releasing new upgrades at the rate of 30 or more per day.

Depends Upon Participation

Whenever you want something to move fast you need to remove all obstacles and anything else that might slow down the process. Assuming that the developers and the operators are all committed to DevOps principles, the only other component of the process that might engender latency is the user community.

The user community or communities may encompass all departments of the company. This means that everyone must be successfully encouraged to enthusiastically cooperate and participate in providing their feedback rapidly. Loosely defined, that’s called a culture change. And culture is among the hardest things to change in any company.

It Takes a Village

From the moment a company decides to undertake a DevOps initiative those leading the process must immediately recognize that it will take a village, perhaps their entire “village”, to create the cultural change needed to willingly and enthusiastically share feedback more frequently than they ever have before. The reward will be better software than they’ve ever used before, software developed specifically to fulfill their expectations, and that continuously improves to help them be more productive and more efficient than ever before.

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